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January 30, 2014

Facebook News Reader App Mixes Users’ Feed With Popular Content

Facebook image — Facebook's Paper app in action.

Facebook is taking a page from Flipboard’s book with its newly launched mobile app.

Dubbed Paper, the app mixes content from a user’s news feed with posts and articles from “emerging voices and well-known publications” and displays it together in a new interface.

“Paper makes storytelling more beautiful with an immersive design and fullscreen, distraction-free layouts,” Facebook said in a blog post.  “We’ve also made it easier to craft and share beautiful stories of your own.

“Your Paper is made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests. The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you’ll enjoy inspiring new designs for photos, videos, and longer written posts. You can customize Paper with a choice of more than a dozen other sections about various themes and topics—from photography and sports to food, science and design.”

Facebook image

Facebook image

Paper works much like Flipboard. Users simply tilt their Smartphone to scroll through panoramic photos from corner to corner, and to get a close up view of faces and other important details. It also offers full-screen auto-play videos, gives stories eye-catching, full-screen covers and enables articles to unfold in the app and appear fullscreen.

When a users wants to share a story of his or her own, a live preview will give the user a chance to see it as it will appear before posting it.

The launch of Paper goes hand-in-hand with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to make Facebook’s news feed like a “personalized newspaper.”

When the social network launched an updated news feed last spring, the goal was to offer users bright, beautiful stories.

“News feed is one of the most important services that we build,” Zuckerberg said at the times, adding the company wanted to give “everyone the most personalized newspaper in the world. The best personalized newspaper should be intricate, rich and engaging.”

Paper is also part of Facebook’s mobile push as the company looks to further monetize its offerings and make itself attractive to advertisers.

Paper, the first product from Facebook Creative Labs, will be available Feb. 3 for American iPhone users.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.